“If a picture is worth 1000 words, a prototype is worth 1000 meetings.”
Designs need to be tested for their functionality, usability and manufacturability. Prototyping is an essential step in the design process. Prototypes are product testing and will detect any performance failures in the early stages of manufacturing, which will save time, money and material down the track.
Industrial and product design is an iterative process. A creative communication between designer, engineer and user. Having the ability to trial, test and tweak your design depending on the feedback from your prototypes will result in a highly resolved outcome.
If you catch something you want to change late during the course of development, you may have to completely redesign the product to make the change. The earlier a problem is found, the less costly it is to fix it.
A Dyson vacuum in an evolution of prototypes in different materials and fidelity.
“While power points can be all well and good, it doesn’t compare to having a tangible product in front of your client.”
Black Lab Design’s CEO Daen Simmat strongly believes in the importance of prototyping. Its tangible benefits open up deeper discussions to dissect the features of the product to ensure the brief is being met and the design problem is being solved.
The time, energy and cost that goes into producing a prototype is worth every resource it uses from a quality control perspective.
Here are 7 benefits of prototyping your product;
- Early discovery of design problems
- Estimate of production costs, manufacturing time, and requirements for materials
- Determine manufacturability and machinery necessary for production
- Testing to determine durability and usability
- Receive feedback from client and end-users to help identify improvements
- Determine final function and design
- Aid in obtaining funding and investors
To conclude, nothing makes a client happier than completing a project under budget. Prototypes directly affect the most important components of the project: resources, time, and budget, by identifying and overcoming challenges with the design in the early iterative stages.